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I used to have a problem - too much water due to extracting every last bit of sugar. That gave me 90% to 95% efficiency, but also it was a lot of work to boil it down to manageable and usable amounts of wort.

This time I aimed at 70%. I created my grain bill to target 12 Brix (around 1.048 OG). It was simple, 2.5 kg pale ale and 2.5 kg wheat malts. I only sparged to get my 30 liters of preboil volume and then let the rest go to the sink. "Sadly", it turned out I did things generally better and yet again - I hit about 16 Brix (1.065) at the end. It seems I still managed to get 90% to 95% sugars, in less water. Good thing, but:

  1. I do not have capabilities to pitch two fermentors now.
  2. I plainly refuse to waste such a good wort.
  3. For american wheat it'll be too strong. And I really wanted it to be a session beer.

On the bright side, hops I added should bring it to around 35 IBU (here I was intentionally out of style), so even with increased maltiness it should be balanced.

What are my options now? Is fermenting it as is a good way? Do I really have any alternatives?


It was time and past time to pitch it, but I still want to know what I could have done. Answers telling focusing on fermentation as is would be especially valuable, but I'll appreciate all of them - even ones I can't use now.

  • Nice problem to have. Have you tried planning for 90% efficiency in your recipe calculations? – Rube Nov 8 '15 at 16:15
  • @Rube I did, until now. But then I always ended up with way too much water. Long boils was inconvenient. This time I decided to discard weak sparge water and limit boil to 90 minutes. But my sparge efficiency (sugar to water ratio) increased compared to all previous batches. Surprisingly. – Mołot Nov 8 '15 at 16:34
  • @Rube if only my sparge went as poorly as the one that inspired previous question, my plan would be perfect ;) – Mołot Nov 8 '15 at 16:38
  • what calculator/ method do you use for determining mash/sparge water amounts? – Rube Nov 8 '15 at 16:41
  • @Rube For mash, intuition and style description. For sparge - over 3 Brix I take. Yesterday I did different - take as much as I need to get pregnant boil volume I want. Turned our all the same. – Mołot Nov 8 '15 at 17:41
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I don't think there was much you could do on the fermentation side to fix anything. I'd still have planned ferment it out, plan to dry hop it heavily to try and create a little more balance. Then I'd learn form the experience and get ready to re-brew the beer I wanted to brew.

To limit your efficiency, you could sparge a little faster or ease up on the degree of your crush. Hard to say as we don't know why your efficiency is so high. (Too high some may say for making great beer.)

If you wanted a 1.048 beer your could have diluted an appropriate volume of the 1.065 wort down to 1.048. I would have maybe saved the rest for use in starter wort. That way you wouldn't feel so bad tossing out wort. You need to consider the cost of the wort in time and money. It really isn't that big a deal to toss out a gallon or a few quarts. The time and money spent re-brewing later to get the beer you want should out way the costs of that small amount of wort to toss.

  • Actually, I wasn't able to speed up sparge. I always sparged faster, but addidion of wheat slowed it down for me - and that was my mistake in planning. I opened valve to it's full, and it still went slow. – Mołot Nov 13 '15 at 13:50

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